'It was magical': The best moments from the Aurora Australis

The spectacular lights of the Aurora Australis have been mesmerising star-gazers in the South Island.

Saturday night's show came as a rare surprise to many and didn't disappoint.

Lake Ellesmere was dwarfed by the power of Mother Nature in a timelapse video taken over a three-hour period. 

The Aurora Australis put on a spectacular and surprising show - with those in Awarua Bay in Invercargill among those watching on.

Photographer Reuben Looi has been waiting patiently in Lyttelton for his rare opportunity.

"I spent a whole year last year throughout winter to go to the same spot and capture it," he said. "When I finally got it I was happy."

He wasn't alone, with other timelapses were taken in Antarctica and Wellington.

"It was huge. Never seen anything like it. It was magical," said 17-year-old Daniel Brugen, who lives in the capital.

A magical surprise was even wowing stargazers across the ditch in Australia.

The unpredictable light show is made from what's called "space weather", and relies on a mix of the right conditions at the right time.

Quite literally a region of the sun, a magnetic field channels material across space and slams into Earth without any warning.

It causes a remarkable sight that's hard to predict but incredible to see if you're also in the right place at the right time.


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